How to Cope with the Death of a Pet

The death of a beloved pet can be a devastating blow to the owner and the family it belonged to. Here’s how to achieve closure and cope with the death of a pet in a good and healthy way.

Let Yourself Grieve

Don’t let other people tell you what to feel. Let yourself feel the grief and sadness that comes with a pet’s death. Here are some ways you can let your feelings out.

Cry. You and your pet had good times, with a bond that other people won’t understand, so let it all out in tears.

Write your feelings in a journal.

Talk about your sad feelings with a friend or a family member, one who will understand your unique bond with your pet.

If you’re helping a child deal with the death of a pet, it’s best that you are honest and straightforward when discussing your pet’s death. Don’t invent a story that the pet ran away or went somewhere else. A pet’s death is usually the first time the child will encounter death, so it’s a good way to talk about it honestly. Show your child that you are sad too, and that it’s good to work out these feelings with honesty.

If you are a senior citizen, you may feel the loss of your pet very keenly. It’s okay to seek help from support groups, like your friends. You can also try contacting pet loss support groups through the local humane society.

Prepare a Good Funeral

In the case of most euthanized pets, you have an option to leave the remains at the clinic. If this is not an acceptable option, preparing a good funeral for your pet is another way to achieve closure. This, in a way, can be your last act of service to your pet.

You can have your pet buried in a pet cemetery where you can visit often. Order a marker online. You or other family members can say a few short speeches about your time with your pet.

Another option is to have your pet cremated, and have its ashes stay at your home.

Take it Easy

Take some time to be good to yourself for a week. Relax, but don’t be indulgent. If you’re the type to overdrink or overeat when feeling emotional, avoid it. Take long walks by yourself, see friends, and just do relaxing activities. Imagining talking to your pet sometimes works, too.

Prepare a Scrapbook

Grieving involves a lot of unspent energy, so you can channel that into good use by making a scrapbook of memories for your deceased pet. Collect all of your pet’s pictures, items and memorabilia and put it in one scrapbook. Add notes and memories in the scrapbook, too. This should keep the memory of your pet alive while at the same time channeling all your grief into a positive activity.

Just remember–you are not alone in this! Reach out to other people who are undergoing or experienced losing a beloved pet. Keeping your pet in your memories is always good, as long as you learn to move on.

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